Some residents of Braeshore are continuing their fight against wind turbines in the area with almost triple the support they had two weeks ago.
Recently, residents became aware of the possibility of two wind turbines going up in the area at a distance of 600 metres from any dwelling, but most in the community are against the development and continue to educate people on their cause.
“We have an ideal spot here with the right wind conditions coming off the water. What’s to stop Wind Prospect or any other company from expanding in our area?” asked Susan Moland at a second community meeting held at her home on Saturday.
According to Moland, Wind Prospect was to have sent out 2,000 flyers with information regarding the wind turbines, but she stated, “We never received them. It’s unfortunate, I guess, that Canada Post lost all of those flyers.”
To help inform the group and learn more about what avenues are open to them in their fight, Moland invited Susan and Kristen Overmyer of Antigonish to share their story of their recent fight against wind turbines in their area.
The Overmyers were part of a group which formed the Eco Awareness Society which helps groups across the province fight wind turbines.
The Eco Awareness Society took on Sheer Energy and fought against the construction of wind turbines in Bailey’s Brook, but were too late in joining the fight.
“We approached the issue from all levels, and did end up stalling the project for several years,” explained Overmyer who added, when the project went through, the group took Sheer Energy to Supreme Court to have the turbines pushed back from the residential area. They were successful. The turbines were set back from 600 metres to 1,400.
She explained, when they were first notified of the turbines, they thought it was a great idea. “We began looking into them like all things and started to find problems, and more problems. Once they were in, if they were doing any good for the greenhouse gases, which are actually increasing, or energy security and not harming the environment, we would learn to live with them. But they aren’t.”
Overmyer also explained what happened once the turbine was up and running.
“I started to get vertigo – not every night, but often. It depends on the placement of the turbine and the direction of the wind,” she said. “Occasionally I get this wave going through my body and my heart starts racing. It’s rather scary.”
Overmyer says the important thing is getting information out and educating the public, while keeping the issue in the forefront.
Moland also spoke to a representative from the COMFIT program who Moland says told her that if there is a large number of residents against the project it won’t go through.
“Charlie Parker, MLA for Pictou West, told me there are 88 proposals on COMFIT’s desk and they have only approved five,” said Moland.
Kristen Overmyer added, “You have to get down to how the decision is ultimately going to be made. Regardless of evidentiary truth, unless you can connect it to a political consequence, it’s not going to work. Our MLA did nothing to help us.”
County Councillor Ed McMaster, who was also present stated, “It will be one hell of a battle, especially if you want to have any more than 600 metres from a residential area. We are in a hell of a battle now with the cell towers and they can go up anywhere.”
Moland informed the group they need to stay focused and get going with the petition, which they already have in place.
“Step one is to educate. Step two is to get out there and get signatures on the petition.”
The group will continue to meet and gather signatures to present to MLA for Pictou West Charlie Parker.
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